This year began strongly with high demand and restricted supply, which quickly led to rising prices. This intensified further when Russia’s war in Ukraine broke out in mid-February, pushing prices to new record levels.
Market update by Per-Ola Engerup, Sales Team MENA
In MENA, Russian sawmills have primarily supplied the Egyptian market - a position which is now more difficult to maintain due to sanctions. The absence of Russian and Belarusian volumes in Europe has also had consequences in North Africa, as these volumes have to be replaced from elsewhere. Lower grade products for the packaging market are particularly scarce, which directly competes with the MENA markets.
We’re witnessing logistical challenges in all markets. For MENA in particular this means competition for shipping and rising fuel prices. We see a shift from timber products to other types of competing goods and longer shipping routes in the absence of restricted return transportation from Ukraine and the Black Sea.
Thankfully the situation regarding COVID looks much more promising. For the past two years we have all lived with restrictions and had difficulty traveling and meeting our customers face-to-face. But now, finally, we can once again venture out and make customer visits. In March we attended the International Woodshow in Dubai, where we met several of our customers and industry colleagues. This June we will be participating in Carrefour de Bois in Nantes, and look forward to getting away and visiting you in your home markets once again.
Per-Ola Engerup, Team MENA